Monday, June 16, 2008

Gentle hand scrub & pregnancy home remedies....

I love to use items that I already have on hand in my kitchen, plus they cost pennies to make.
I have made the salt type hand scrubs and sugar ones which are nice, but too rough for my hands. I have nurse's hands and mommy hands ie: always being washed or in water and they made my hands too dry. Try this one and if you don't like it you're only out about 5 cents.

Cornmeal Hand Scrub

1/4 cup cornmeal
3 Tbs. milk
1 drop almond oil or almond extract
* I thought this was a little bland smelling so I add a few drops of essential oils
depending on my mood- lavender at night and grapefruit for a pick-me-up*

~In a small saucepan, mix the cornmeal with the milk. Heat the mixture over a low flame on the stovetop until it forms a paste. Remove from heat and stir in almond oil or extra oils. Allow to cool.
~Spread mixture on hands and allow it to sit for up to 10 minutes. Gently scrub your hands then rinse off with warm water.

As you can probably tell by my new ticker on the right- I'm newly pregnant with pregnancy number 3 and child number six. I am too tired still to get pictures up right now, and please excuse all of grammar. Since pregnancy dominates my thoughts right now, thought I would post a few good pregnancy remedies. These are all safe, but use your own judgement please- only you know if you are high risk or not. I would strongly advise you not to use too much during the first trimester. The less chemicals the better, right?!

Soothing Footbath

1 Tbs. Sea Salt (or Kosher salt )
2 drops lavender essential oil
1 drop rosemary essential oil
1 to 3 drops of peppermint essential oil

~Dissolve salt in a basin of warm water and add essential oils. Mix them well . Soak your feet and enjoy.

Momma's Peppermint Foot Lotion

1 Tbs. almond oil
1 tsp. avocado oil
1 tsp. wheat germ oil
10 drops of peppermint essential oil

~Put all of the ingredients in a small, sterilized glass bottle with a tight-fitting stopper. Shake well to combine. Store in a cool dark place. Shake well before each use. Massage into tired legs, especially after a soak.
*Some people cannot tolerate peppermint oil. It will sometimes feel a little tingly. If you're worried about it; do a small patch test on your forearm or cut the amount of oil in half to start.

Ginger Morning Sickness Tea
1 cup boiling water
1/2 tsp. minced fresh ginger

~In a large cup, pour the boiling water over the ginger. Steep 10 minutes, strain into another container and refrigerate. Drink in the morning when you wake. You can drink cold or reheat. I have another tea recipe here.

Hemorrhoid Pads

1 ounce witch hazel
5 drops cypress essential oil
3 drops geranium essential oil
5 drops lavender essential oil
2 Tbs. aloe vera gel
Cotton cosmetic pads

~In an open-mouthed jar with a tight-fitting lid, combine all of the ingredients. Saturate several pads in the liquid and place in the refrigerator. Use a pad on the affected area as needed. Especially great for the first few days post-partum. Will keep for about a week.

For more great tips and recipes head over to Tammy's Recipes.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Is this the kind of CHANGE that America wants??

I don't usually get too political on my blog, but when it comes to LIFE I have to stand up. Do you think that Senator O'Bama is the change that America needs? Not if you don't believe in infanticide and murder! Read this post: here and here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

PJ Alert...

Anyone who has little ones who need fall or light winter pajamas should check this out. Tonight I was browsing through Meijers and saw some pj's on clearance. I took a look at all the sizes, thought it was a good deal and bought three packages for each of my four older children. When I went through the check-out they rang up half the clearance price; so I went back and got one more package for each child. That's eight pairs of pj's for each kid because there are 2 per package. Here is the breakdown:

~original price was $12.99 for each pack of 2 pj's
~clearance price was $6.49 on each pack
~they rang up for $3.24 each.
~so I got 32 sets of pajamas for $51.84 plus tax of 6%= $54.95
that makes each pj cost $1.72 each with tax

The reason that I'm passing it on is that these were not just a few pj's on an end cap; they had TONS of them left. It was a whole wall of pj's so plenty left for everyone. One more thing, these jammies are like the two piece thermal underwear (long johns) style.

Close-up of tag. Sorry it's blurry- my camera has been acting up.

Monday, June 9, 2008

Old Fashioned Frugality

1942 War Ration Book

Last week on Tammy's website she posted about her frustration with keeping her grocery budget low. A lot of people are struggling with the sub-prime lender problems, unemployment (I live in Michigan which has the highest unemployment rate in the country right now), rising gas costs and higher grocery bills. I had a conversation with my grandma who is my biggest mentor about how hard it is right now. She always has a gentle way of reminding me that things have been worse and that they will get better again. My grandma told me the story of growing up during the Great Depression and marrying in 1942 during the height of the war. She told me how tight her grocery budget was and some ideas of what her and my grandpa ate. It seemed to be a lot of humble and cheap meals, but they were homemade and she always found a way to save her rations for a special treat. I have a large cook book collection and my favorite ones are the really old ones. I also came across this war ration book at a garage sale. I do not know the person who originally owned them. I also have a few old fashioned "saving stamp" booklets. I remember my mom using S & H Green stamps growing up. The biggest lesson about them is delayed gratification. You had to SAVE UP your stamps to earn items that you wanted. You didn't just go and charge them. So my real "tip" for this week is to remind everyone that we all have different reasons for the things that we buy based on what is important to us; ie: allergies, food preferences, number of family members etc.. Just do your best and cook from scratch as much as possible. I have also included two frugal recipes. Even though my grocery budget is pretty tight, I'm grateful that I can go to the store and purchase anything that I like without restrictions. For more great tips check out Tammy's Recipes.

Inside the ration book- notice how they had dated each line to split it up through the month.

Back cover of ration book.

Ration book and stamp saving books.

Front cover of a war ration cookbook from 1941. I imagine it was given out for free or with a purchase of Swans Down flour or Calumet Baking powder.

Grandma DeKraker's Eggless Chocolate Cake

2 squares Baker's Unsweetened Chocolate
1 cup milk
1 3/4 cups sifted flour
3/4 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup shortening (during wartime they often used lard)
1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Combine chocolate and milk in top of double boiler and cook over rapidly boiling water for 5 minutes, stirring occcasionally. Blend with rotary egg beater; cool.
Sift flour once, measure, add soda, salt and sugar, sift three more times. Cream shortening; add flour, vanilla, and chocolate mixture and stir until all flour is dampened. Then beat vigorously for one minute. Bake in two greased and lightly floured 8-inch layer pans for twenty minutes or until done.
My grandma states that she usually sprinkled the top with powdered sugar to make it pretty.

No-Flour Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup peanut butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla

Mix all ingredients together. Mixture will be thick. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto greased cookie sheet. Flatten with a fork. Bake at 300 degrees for 12 to 15 minutes. Do not over bake. Let cookies stand briefly before removing to cooling rack. Yields 2 dozen.

Here is the cookbook open. Notice there is an eggless chocolate cake recipe there and other ones that have been modified to reduce rationed items.That recipe uses "soured milk" in it. My grandma states that chocolate cake recipes were the most popular because everyone still had birthdays and celebrations.


My new cookbook.

Thanks to Stephanie at Keeper Of The Home for choosing my name for her blog giveaway. I just received my copy of Sue Gregg's cookbook "Whole Grain Baking" in the mail today. I never win anything so this was a special treat. I will write a longer post once I make a few things and tell you about my experience. Thanks again Stephanie!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008


Susan Godfrey @ Simply Susan is hosting not one; but TWO great giveaways. She has a great blog- well two actually and her ebooks are wonderful. I purchased the ebook with advice and recipes following the Nourishing Traditions style of cooking and was very pleased with it. You should get over there and enter to win for yourself here.

Say No To Kraft Dinner

For a simple and quick dinner my family loves Tex Mex food. My little ones like to eat the meat without the tortilla, but some of them are coming around. We like to serve them with a rice and salsa. It tastes like it came from a restaurant and it does not include all of the salt and chemicals that a fajita mix includes.

Kelly's Fajita's

~For chicken: 4-5 small ckichen breasts
~For beef: One flank steak or sometimes called skirt steak

For the marinade:
~1/2 cup to 1 cup olive oil
~one medium onion sliced into thin rings
~1/2 bunch cilantro chopped
~1/2 cup to 3/4 cup soy sauce or Tamari
~3 cloves of garlic minced or 1 to 2 tsp. of garlic powder
~ 1 tsp. cumin powder
~juice of one or two limes plus slice one and put it in the marinade
~1/2 tsp. black pepper
~1 tsp. of salt (this is optional and I don't use it without any loss of flavor)

Put the meat into a container with a tight fitting lid or a Ziploc bag. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. I usually marinade it over night. The lime juice can start to cook the meat so don't marinade over 8-12 hours. It will taste the best if you grill the meat, but you can cook it in a frying pan or on an oven pan. Let it rest before slicing and then squeeze lime juice over the top.
Tip: try not to put the cilantro or onion on the grill with the meat as it will burn.

We serve it with:
~slice onions and saute until soft
~slice red and green peppers and saute until soft
~mushrooms sliced and sauteed
~sour cream
~fresh onion and jalepeno slices
~tortillas or make your own with this recipe from Tammy.

Simple Cheesy Spanish Rice

~2 cups cooked brown rice or white rice
~1/2 stick butter or 1/4 cup olive oil- but it tastes different
~one small onion diced
~one small can of petite diced tomatoes (about 15oz.) *you can use the one with onions in it*
~1 tsp of garlic powder
~1 tsp. cumin powder
~ 1 can of diced green chiles or 1 fresh cut up
~1 cup of sharp cheddar cheese or more to taste

Cook the rice and set aside. Melt butter in medium sauce pan. Add onion and cook until slightly browned. Add the rest of the ingredients in the order listed. Cook until the cheese is melted. Serve right away. This will be sticky compared to Rice-a-Roni type.

For more great ideas check back to Stephanie's blog at Keeper of The Home.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Ziploc Baggie Alternatives....

Happy-Sacks for snacks and goodies or anything!

My tip for this week is for cutting down on plastic bag use. I found these bags that were so cute.
My latest great find......I came across these adorable little bags at Green Island this weekend while shopping in Traverse City. We have a cottage near Big Rapids and I love to make the trip to Traverse which is a little more than an hour away. I have been searching for an alternative for baggies for a long time. Now granted, they don't actually "seal" so you can't use them for everything, but for sandwiches, snacks, popcorn, carrots etc. it's really a great thing. I love the way that the velcro is set low enough down so that it actually makes a fold to keep things inside better. I paid $8.50 and $6.50 for each of the two smallest sizes. I think if you do the math they are worth the investment because they can be used over and over. They can go in the washer/dryer or just wipe clean. They are organic on the outside cotton & bamboo and nylon on the inside. I think you could probably use them for transporting mama cloth as well. I'll let you know how that works in a later post. Visit the website here. For more great tips and recipes visit Tammy's Recipes here.

View of the bags open.

More resources for plastic bag alternatives here and here.